HELP REBUILD JEANNE’S LIFE!
We are a group of friends who met in an online artist community many years ago. Although we live miles apart, we have built strong friendships and now one of us is in dire need of help. Jeanne Harlan-Marriott (brush name “Harlan”) is not only an extraordinary professional artist, but also one of the most generous, caring people we know. Jeanne is always first to help someone in need, but now she is the one who needs help.
TRAGEDY STRIKES - DECEMBER 19
In the wee hours of the morning on December 19, a fire started in the office/art studio that was located across the driveway from Jeanne’s residence. It had already gotten a strong foothold by the time it was discovered. Jeanne, her son and pets were sleeping in the separate house which was, thankfully, not involved in the fire. Sadly, the office/studio did not fare as well. The entire space was completely and utterly destroyed.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
WORSE THAN IT SEEMS
This was not just an office or art studio, it was the part of the residence where day to day life for Jeanne and her son took place. Not only was the building totally destroyed, but also Jeanne’s life’s work - 40 years worth of her original art: huge, beautiful oil paintings, smaller, needle felted sculptures and jewelry, unpublished books she had written, and of course, all the supplies used to create. The artwork was to be her son’s inheritance.
To see some of her artwork, visit her website: http://www.intimateforest.com/index.shtml (she cannot sell from her website as all originals and backups were lost in the fire)
In addition to the art, the fire destroyed all of their office equipment (including two monitors and computers, one brand new), furniture, important papers and documents (deed to the house, ID’s, banking info, medical records, etc), family photos, classes, books in progress, backups of everything, and the online game documentation Jeanne wrote and ran for several years.
As if that all were not bad enough, Jeanne had never been able to secure homeowners’ insurance for her house. Several years ago, Jeanne’s husband fell gravely ill. He was hospitalized for a year at the Veterans’ Hospital. When he was finally discharged he was unable to walk. Confined to a wheelchair, he needed constant care. Jeanne put her life and much of her art business on hold in order to provide care for him, as she was his sole caregiver. When he passed away, very little was left to provide for Jeanne and her son, and she has been struggling ever since. Life would have been manageable had something not gone wrong. But unfortunately, something did.
This is absolutely critical: The fire damaged Jeanne’s well, the electricity for the pump, and the pressure tank. In order to restore water, the well will need new parts, and a new line has to be dug to the house. Jeanne and her son have been without water since Dec. 19, 2017. This is most urgent and needs to be done as soon as possible.
They are living on bottled water.
JEANNE NEEDS YOUR HELP
With this campaign, we intend to help Jeanne with several large expenses for which she just does not have funds, so that she can begin to get back on her feet.
THE BREAKDOWN OF NEED
Debris removal: The most recent quote for this is $13,000. Right now, debris from the fire is blocking most of the driveway, making it difficult if not impossible for contractors and repair personnel get in to help.
Water supply: The cost to restore water is approximately $4500: the quote for a contractor to lay the water lines is $3,500, and plumbing services (to hook up the lines) would be an additional $1000 (estimated).
Furnace: Although this was not a result of the fire, Jeanne’s furnace keeps breaking and it needs to be replaced. She lives in Michigan and it is the middle of winter. A quote from two years ago came to the price of $7,000. It is an expensive and extensive system.
Office supplies: Jeanne will need to replace everything in the office she shared with her son - two computers, monitors, desks, shelves, filing cabinets etc. We have estimated the cost at $3,000.
Art supplies: The saddest part is that Jeanne no longer has any supplies with which to do any kind of art, which was how she earned her living. In addition to being an oil painter, Jeanne is also a needle felter, a polymer clay artist, an author, and a teacher. We know we cannot replace 30 years’ worth of supplies, but $3,000 would get her started with quality materials.
Jeanne is a wonderful, caring person, but this has been emotionally devastating for her. She has trouble sleeping due to the constant smell of smoke, since the debris is still present. She compulsively checks for signs of another fire. She is almost totally homebound, not only because of the debris in the driveway, but also because of anxiety that hits when she is away from home….worrying about another fire.
WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR ENOUGH TO REPLACE AND REBUILD EVERYTHING, BUT ENOUGH FOR JEANNE TO GET BACK ON HER FEET AND MOVE ON WITH HER LIFE AND HER ART.
WE ARE SETTING THIS CAMPAIGN FOR $32,000
Removing the debris will be the first step.
Finally, Jeanne wishes to extend her heartfelt appreciation and thank you to everyone who takes the time to help her rebuild her life.
“Thank you. I'm going to try and pull my life back together, but I lost 40 plus years of my work. I still haven't grasped that completely. My work was my self value and it's gone.”
- Boisali Biswas
- Je Ssica
- Vanessa Harlan
- Aynex Mercado
- Beth Pierson
Organizer and beneficiary
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